From a young age, I’ve suffered from low self esteem and for most of my life I assumed this was something I just needed to live with . . . That the cards I’d been dealt were living a life of an ugly girl. By my mid-20s, I finally learned that this wasn’t true and this wasn’t how I should think of myself or speak of myself. These are the realistic ways I battled my issues with low self-esteem.
Focus on the Good
Even with low self esteem, there must be something you like about yourself. For example, I’ve always liked my hair. So, when I’m feeling chubby, insignificant, or just plain down, I try to focus instead on how little effort I need to put in to make my hair presentable in the morning. Or, I’ll think about how I put others first and always do what I can to help a friend in need.
It feels weird at first to do these kinds of exercises. Sometimes it can feel like you’re being self-centered or narcissistic. But that’s simply not the case. Taking some time (a few minutes!) to try to boost your self esteem like this is not selfish.
Improve What You Can
Unhappy with your weight? Put some effort into losing weight healthily. Wish you made more time for your friends? Spend a little time every month scheduling time to do just that. Don’t like the color of your hair? Dye it!
We may not be able to change the color of our eyes or the way our fingernails grow in or how frequently we get split ends in our hair without extreme interventions, but there are little things that we can change. So work on those.
Put More Emphasis on Internal Qualities
When you stop worrying so much about how you look and spend more time improving your mind, your energy and your mood, it’s amazing how things that used to be detrimental to your self esteem suddenly stop mattering.
Spend a little time each day meditating, journaling and reading. Improve your internal qualities and take pride in those achievements. Then, be sure that you are granting others that same grace. When you meet someone new, take special note of the way she smiles at everyone or he greets you with a joke. Worry less about the way people look and more about the way they make you feel.
Choose the Right Friends
I’ve learned over the years that friends will come and go. There are people who will come into your life and seem like a lot of fun, but if they aren’t consistently showing that they have your best interest at heart and value your friendship as much as you value theirs, they may be contributing to your low self-esteem.
Be sure to select friends who make you feel good about yourself, who say kind things and who show you that they enjoy your company. When you’re surrounded by people who genuinely like you, it’s much easier to like yourself.
Take Comments from Family with a Grain of Salt
While your family should be the people you lean on for support and who love you unconditionally and always see the best in you, this isn’t always the case. Or, it could be the case but they’re not always great at expressing it. Sometimes, family can make comments that are meant from a place of love, but don’t necessarily come out that way. I know people who have family members who make comments about their weight because they want them to be healthy and don’t see how hurtful and damaging that can be.
Remember that your family loves you and they want what’s best for you.
Fix Your Thinking to Raise Your Low Self Esteem
If you don’t think highly of yourself, it’s time to fix your way of thinking. You are beautiful, you are kind and you are worthy of love. It’s time you start believing it. Start by focusing on what you already like about yourself then move on to improve what you can about the aspects you’d like to change. Remember the cliché, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and don’t put too much weight on other people’s opinions.
What you think of you is ultimately what matters. You’re the only person who has to live with you 24 hours a day.
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